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Thursday, April 8, 2010
How I See It: NFC North Stock Watch


NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

Veteran experience in Chicago. When we look back at this offseason, we might see it as the moment when the Bears accelerated the breakup of their 2006 Super Bowl team. Already, right end Alex Brown and cornerback Nathan Vasher have been released. There is no indication the Bears will re-sign left end Adewale Ogunleye. Tight end Desmond Clark could be the next to go. Each decision was made on its own merits, and I doubt the Bears' brain trust is executing a systematic plan to tear down their team and start over. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive years, the Bears need to win in 2010. No matter what the intention, however, there will be more than a few new faces at prominent positions in Chicago this season.

Rising

Jimmy Clausen, potential Minnesota quarterback. Discussion of a Clausen free-fall has generated suggestions that the Notre Dame quarterback could be available close to the Vikings’ No. 30 overall pick. We’ve chronicled the team’s need to find a long-term direction at the position, and Clausen’s experience in a pro-style system is an attribute coveted by Vikings coach Brad Childress. It’s not clear how the Vikings feel about the rest of Clausen’s skills, but we might start learning more at an open throwing session Friday in South Bend, Ind. It now seems possible, at least, that the Vikings could have their pick of every quarterback in the draft with the exception of Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford.